Wednesday, January 11, 2017

2016 vs 2017

by Marion Ueckermann

Almost two weeks of this new year have gone already. Can you believe it? Only 52 more weeks to go until we usher in the next new year. When put like that, doesn’t seem like that much time, does it? And when I look at my ‘to-do’ list for 2017…well, I feel a tad overwhelmed.

If I had to sum up 2016 in one word it would be ‘Busy.’ I’d need three words to sum up what 2017 holds for me—‘Just as busy.’

In 2016, I released nine books and one short story. Granted, three of those books I had written in 2014 and 2015, but only released in 2016. Nevertheless, marketing, covers, and editing had to be done on them, whilst still writing, editing, publishing, and marketing the other six books released.

On top of that, I was in six box sets during 2016, five of which I was the cover designer for the set. Those sets also needed marketing.

Too often this past year I thought I wouldn’t make a deadline. But, I always did because God is good. This year, I will once again cling to His faithfulness that He will never leave me or forsake me. I know I can trust Him to help me meet the crazy 2017 deadlines, as well.

In a nutshell, here’s what my 2017 holds. And while you’re reading, think about what 2017 holds for you (because I’m going to ask):

·         Four box sets:

And I can’t wait to show them off to the world. These will be published between March and June:

o   My stories are still to be written and edited. I do have one almost done, and rightly so...the deadline is looming
o   Covers done (or almost done) for three box sets—one more to go
o   For those following my Seven Suitors for Seven Sisters series, you’ll be glad to know that the last three stories in the series, are planned for three of the box sets—A Courtship for Clover will release on April 25th in Cherish; A Proposal for Poppy on June 20th in Forever; and A Love for Lily on July 4th (set still to be named)

·         Overseas holiday:

On April 20th, hubby and I will be on a Qatar flight headed from Johannesburg to Helsinki, Finland. Long haul flights booked—check. Internal flights still to be booked. We’re going on a six-week holiday overseas. Of course, my trusted laptop will be part of my baggage, and I’ll likely still be writing into the early hours of the mornings during that time. We’ll be in Finland for two weeks visiting my son and daughter-in-law, Kyle and Tiia, in Helsinki. Whilst there, I hope to visit the heart-shaped island on the outskirts of Helsinki where I set my first published book, Helsinki Sunrise (which hopefully will release in Norwegian this year).

After that we fly to the UK for three weeks to visit my brother and sister-in-law, and other friends. My plan is to get up to North Yorkshire while we’re there and visit Scarborough and Robin Hood’s Bay, the locations for A Hero for Heather, and A Husband for Holly. I hope we’ll also be able to go back to the Lake District, which is where the Blume sisters in my Seven Suitors for Seven Sisters series hail from. Kyle plans to join us in the UK for a while. 

The next stop is Italy for 7-10 days. On the itinerary are Cinque Terre, Pisa, Venice, Rome, Florence, and Tuscany (location for two stories). Kyle and Tiia will be joining us on the Italian leg of our journey. Part of the reason for this week is that Italy just looks like an awesome place to visit. The other part is research for the next point below.

·         Multi author series:

I need to write two and a bit novellas, plus design ten covers for a multi-author series due to release toward the end of 2017. The authors involved in this endeavor are super excited, and I’m glad I’ll have a holiday and research behind me before I need to tackle this.

·         IF I find the time in the next three months, I need to format six books for print, which includes designing back covers and that sneaky, fiddly spine. Because our postal system isn’t the most trustworthy in South Africa, I always try to order my print books if I’m travelling overseas and have them sent somewhere there to bring back with me. You can imagine my joy at learning Qatar airlines have increased their baggage allowance from 30kg to 45kg. And with six books to print and bring back (20-30 copies of each), I am going to need that extra allowance. But, because our internal flights do not have the 45kg luxury, I’ll need a delivery address in Italy (our last port of call before flying home), and am working on that.

Looking back eleven months, I totally get why God clearly told me it was time to give up the security and benefits of my day job, and follow my passion and what He had called me to do…write stories for Him.

As you can see, 2017 is set to be another crazy year, but with prayer, focus, and determination, I can do it. So keep a look out on my social media and Amazon author page—there are some fun and hopefully inspiring romances heading your way. Please remember to keep me in your prayers, too. I’m going to need all the help I can get.

And now, I did say I was going to ask you about your year… I would love to hear what exciting things you have planned or are happening in your life this coming year.

MARION UECKERMANN's passion for writing was sparked when she moved to Ireland with her family. Her love of travel has influenced her contemporary inspirational romances set in novel places. Marion and her husband again live in South Africa, but with two gorgeous grandsons hanging their hats at the house next door, their empty nest's no longer so empty.

Visit Marion at

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  1. Congratulations on an incredibly productive 2016, Marion. And what an exciting year ahead for you. That trip sounds marvellous - Tuscany is gorgeous. I look forward to 'sharing' in your trip via your photos on social media.

  2. Thanks, Ian. I can't wait to see Italy. Hope my photos look as good as the one's you see promoting the places and that the experience will enrich my stories I'm planning for there.

  3. I never stop wondering at your productivity Marion! You just keep on keeping on. Given both you and Noel had health issues during last year as well, you have me floored! I'm scared to say, "Keep it up" as it doesn't seem possible. Enjoy your amazing holiday and try to take time out to enjoy the scenery!

    1. Thanks, Shirl. I try not to freak out when I look at this year's schedule ... just taking it one book at a time, with a lot of prayer.

  4. Wow. . .well done Marion. You've had quite a year and it look like this year will be just as busy. Hope you get to really enjoy your travels. Italy is a place I need to go back to an explore more! Not this year, but some day. :-) In the meantime, I'll keep writing.

    1. It has been a year, Lisa ... an it's going to be another one. But by God's grace, I'll make it. Cannot wait for Italy -- it's going to be amazing (and I'm going to be broke LOL).

  5. I think that is ridiculously awesome. You are going to have an incredibly adventurous year. Bravo!!!

    1. Thanks, Jenn. I'm looking forward to writing every one of the books planned for this year. Only problem is, I keep wanting to fast forward to the next :)

  6. To the woman from Doha who contacted me following this blog post, if you see this comment, thanks for contacting me. Unfortunately, your message only showed up on my phone and before I could answer you, the message disappeared. Thanks for your offer - we only have short transits in Doha. Hopefully nothing will go wrong while we're there though, especially as I've lost your details LOL. So glad you've enjoyed my books.